A few short hours after submitting their application for certification, close to 20 employees of HEC Montréal were dismissed last Friday, May 3. On the evening of May 2, after gaining the acceptance of a majority of the some 60 support employees of HEC, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) submitted an application for certification to the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT).

CUPE is asking serious questions about the chain of events and has mentioned the possibility of an attempt by the employer to prevent these employees from organizing.

“Workers are in shock. This bad news, which when placed in context, is the kind of thing intended to spark fear in the institution,” said CUPE union representative Joey-Pierre Savoie Ouimet.

“It is too early to tell exactly what happened or to come to final conclusions, but it appears that the employer attempted to interfere with the employees’ legal and legitimate right to organize. CUPE will not take this lying down. It will pursue its investigation and pull out all stops to clarify the situation and, if required, obtain justice. The right to unionize is a fundamental right protected by the Labour Code,” he added.